What are Dark Patterns?

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What are Dark Patterns? Blog Image


The Central Government recently sought public comments on the draft guidelines for the prevention and regulation of “dark patterns” on the Internet.

About Dark Patterns:

  • Dark patterns are deceptive and manipulative user interface (UI) design techniques employed by websites, apps, and other digital platforms to trick or manipulate users into taking actions they may not intend to take or to make decisions that are not in their best interest.
  • The term “dark patterns” was coined in 2010 by Harry Brignull, a user experience specialist.
  • These patterns are often used to encourage users to sign up for services, make purchases, or share personal information, among other things.
  • Dark patterns exploit cognitive biases and psychological principles to influence user behavior.
  • They can range from subtle and mildly misleading to overtly aggressive tactics.
  • There are 12 kinds of dark patterns: Friend spam, forced continuity, disguised ads, confirm shaming, bait and switch, hidden costs, roach motel, privacy zuckering, misdirection, price comparison prevention, trick questions, and sneak into basket.
  • For Example: 'Confirm shaming' means using a phrase, video, audio or any other means to create a sense of fear, shame, ridicule or guilt in the mind of the user so as to nudge the user to act in a certain way.


Q1) What is the user interface (UI)?

User Interface (UI) refers to the point of interaction between a user and a digital device or software application. It encompasses all the elements and components that enable users to interact with and control a computer, smartphone, website, application, or any other digital system. 

Source: Centre to stop sites from weaving ‘dark patterns’ to mislead buyers